Replication of the published study entilted "Environmental factors shaping the gut microbiome in a Dutch population

Gut microbiome has proven to be important throughout human lifetime and connect with various diseases. However, a universal signature of a healthy or unhealthy microbiome has not been identified. The potential associations between genetics, exposome, lifestyle, diet and microbiome remains unclear as well. Whereas the newly published study entitled "Environmental factors shaping the gut microbiome in a Dutch population" showed us a comprehensive picture of the aforementioned questions, which amazed us and inspired us to learn more about the project. Currently, there are several designs to estimate heritability of traditional traits, such as twin-based designs, family-based designs, genomic designs and etc. Here, the published study chose the family-based design to carry out further research. The overestimation of the genetic variance in such design was reported to be common and potential ways to reduce the bias are warranted. Besides, different from traditional traits, the microbiome typically is over-dispersed and sparse with many zeros. In this case, proper transformation may be needed to meet the assumptions while modelling.

year of approval



  • Zhejiang University (ZJU) (CHN)

primary applicant

  • Wang, X.